Photos Throughout a Day : My Birthday 2018

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birthday gift

Hello! It was my birthday recently and my love made sure it was wonderful.

Here's how the day unfolded ...

I awoke to find a large brightly wrapped package on the table, and instructed to look at the card first.

It had this excellent print of Amy Winehouse on the front -- (Nick knows how much I love(d) her) -- that he picked up at "his" store. Valhalla Cards and Gifts is at 791 Queen Street West and if you asked me what it was like inside, I'd have to say that, although I've received many great cards and gifts from there, I have no idea what it looks like inside. That's because, a long time ago, Nick requested that I stay away from it so he would have a place to get me things that would always be a surprise.

birthday cards including one by the found from valhalla gifts and cards queen street west toronto

Inside the card were a couple of tickets to a concert (which we went to on Monday and which I'll tell you about in my next post). There was also a business card from a local bicycle shop, indicating that he was awaiting delivery of a new suspension seat-post for my bike. It's basically a post that has a hydraulic spring section in it, to make riding more comfortable. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Also, written inside the card was a cryptic poem, "Not so much the thing as it is the act that matters".

note inside card

The wrapped box contained a new laptop computer to replace my old one which huffed and puffed and crashed constantly. His note meant that the computer wasn't really the gift though, since it was a necessity, but rather the act of setting the whole thing up for me was. If you've ever had to move from an old computer to a new one, you know how much of a hassle it is to get all your programs etc copied over and working properly. So, now that's all done and I'm working with an efficient new (and quiet) tool.

Nick said there were more gifts but he needed my help in picking them out, so we would be spending the afternoon shopping on Spadina and Queen Street West.

Before heading out, he prepared my birthday cake, which, at my request, was going to be homemade Cinnamon Buns. He'd already prepared the dough earlier that morning, and had left it to rise.

He then rolled it out, added a layer of melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and raisins, and rolled it up. The kind he made was like a Cinnamon Bun version of an "up-side-down cake", in that he first added a layer of caramel and raisins to the baking pan and then put the rolls on top. It was suggested that the whole thing be turned up-side-down onto a platter for serving, with the sauce dripping down over the sides, but we skipped that because we would be eating them one by one over the course of a few days, so it was easier to leave them in the baking pan and just serve them individually, spooning some of the sauce over top.

making cinnamon rolls

making homemade cinnamon rolls

Since they had to be left to sit and rise further after this step, I'll leave the photos of the finished creation and the verdict until later in the post.

After breakfast, we walked to the first shop we'd be visiting, Lorne's Coats on Spadina Avenue, near Adelaide Street West. It was definitely time for me to have a new water-resistant coat for spring and autumn and what better place to look for that than a store that sells only coats?!

lornes coats building spadina avenue toronto

Lorne's has been there on Spadina for decades. It is one of the remaining shops on Spadina, south of Queen West, that gave this part of town its nickname "The Fashion District".

Nowadays, that name would be a bit of a mystery, as there aren't many fashion stores located there today, however, I remember when every one of the store fronts under the historic buildings that line that section of the street contained dark warehouse-type places where you could find very high quality clothing, which was manufactured in the buildings above and in factories on King Street West. These were the showrooms for clothing that would be sold in boutiques and high-end department stores. The spaces were jammed with rolls of fabric, samples, and things for sale, where you could buy very nice clothes on a budget. I remember trying things on in makeshift fitting rooms that were little more than a curtain hung in the corner.

I give credit to those shops, in helping me live they way I do today. Just out of Queen's University with an honours degree in Commerce, I'd read a magazine article that advised people just entering the business workforce, to dress for the job they wanted to get. So, I bought a few beautifully made woolen suits in those shops, which I wore as a beginner at a big advertising company. I'm pretty sure that it was thanks, in part, to the clothing that I wore, that got me noticed at a young age and given opportunities that were beyond my experience at the time.

Of course, it wasn't only the clothes, as it entailed a heck of a lot of work and bravery to climb the corporate ladder, but dressed in my fine woolen suits, that I did. (I realize this story doesn't tie-in with the life I present on these pages -- I took a break from the corporate world a few years ago, opting for a more laid-back lifestyle, but I have good memories and might go back to it one day.)

And, to go over those suits, I bought my first adult coat. Where did I get that? Well, at Lorne's!

coats at lornes coats on spadina avenue toronto

coates and jackets at lornes on spadina avenue toronto

Their website claims that you can "Find the perfect coat (or two) in less than five minutes." They're not kidding! With the friendly help of a lovely saleslady, I quickly found two options that I liked, ending up choosing the one that I did because it took walking on dark urban street into consideration in its design. Although it's black, it has reflective fabric at the wrists and a series of discrete bits of metal and snaps that are intended to reflect light and therefore let motorists see you in the dark. Brilliant and perfect for my needs! I love it.

me wearing the coat i got

nick at cash desk

We were told that the building they are in has been sold -- I'm not surprised, given it's the only old low one amoungst a forest of condo towers. So, Lorne's, as it has been for the past 40 years, will be no more. One of the last holdouts from the original "Fashion District" will be closing too. I was told that they'd be reopening somewhere else, though.

historic buildings on spadina avenue south of queen street west toronto

↑ Looking at the Art Deco era buildings on the north west corner of Adelaide and Spadina, built in the mid 1920s. ↑

the darling building current day spadina avenue at adelaide street west toronto

↑ From Richmond Street, turned to look back southward towards Spadina and Adelaide. Nearly 19 years ago, I got my wedding dress in the base of the building with the light grey pillars. The shop is now a Dollarama. That building, charmingly called "The Darling Building", was built in 1909, several years earlier than its neighbours to the north. ↑

historic photograph of the darling building spadina and adelaide toronto

↑ Here's a historic shot of that building, taken in 1921. ↑

art deco era buildings toronto spadina avenue near queen street west

fashion building art deco on spadina avenue south of queen street west toronto

↑ "The Fashion Building" completed in 1927, located at Spadina Avenue and Richmond Street. ↑

fashion building doorway historic building spadina avenue toronto

Toronto Historic Photograph The Fashion Building Spadina Avenue 1931

↑ At the entrance of the same building in 1931, during a strike by the dressmakers. ↑

dressmakers on strike spadina avenue near adelaide toronto historic photograph 1931

↑ The Fashion Building is on the right, with the diamond shaped detailing (which are still there today). ↑

We turned eastward on Queen Street West.

on queen street west toronto near spadina

strip of historic buildings queen street west toronto near spadina avenue

↑ A strip of some of the oldest buildings on Queen Street West, built in 1888. ↑

at dr martens queen street west toronto

↑ We were headed to the Dr. Martens Shop, where Nick was going to use the "I Owe You" I gave him for his last birthday. ↑

display at dr martens shop queen street west toronto

boots in dr martens store queen street west toronto


trying on shoes dr martens queen street west toronto

↑ I wanted to get him a pair of those iconic burgundy/yellow stitching shoes, which he tried on a liked. ↑

nice boots i got at dr martens queen street west

↑ While we were there, I spotted a pair I liked for myself, so ended up putting some birthday money from my parents towards them. (Thank you, mom and dad! xo) ↑

So, we both have a new pair of Dr. Martens! (See them in the follow-up photos at the end, if you'd like)

After shopping, we walked westward, on our way to dinner

graffiti mural by uber5000 off queen street west toronto

↑ A new mural by artist Uber5000 ↑

mural graffiti by uber5000 queen street west toronto

We ate at Saku Japanese Restaurant on Queen Street West.

sushi restaurant sign on queen street west toronto

We shared two dinners, a mixed sushi dinner and a Teriyaki Salmon with California rolls. It was all so good!

dinner at saku sushi queen street west toronto

at restaurant

nick restaurant

Then we went home for a piece of cake (which was really a Cinnamon Bun) ...

homemade cinnamon rolls

homemade cinnamon rolls with raisins

This was Nick's first try at making them and they were a total success.

We originally thought we'd be freezing some for later, but ended up having them as a snack throughout the week. They kept really well, covered in the fridge, with the last bite being as delicious as the first.

I think this might be my birthday cake request, here on out!

Thank you for spending the day with us :) Wishing you an excellent weekend.
xo loulou

Follow Up : Our new footwear!

our new shoes

our dr martens airwair hers and his

dr martens zillow chelsea boots

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8 Responses to Photos Throughout a Day : My Birthday 2018

  1. Lynn Grant-Roberts says:

    Happy belated birthday.

  2. Lisa says:

    Looks like a fabulous birthday you had Louise. Those cinnamon buns look extraordinary! Hugs xo

  3. Gaia says:

    Happy belated birthday !! those cinnamon buns look yummy !

  4. withoutayard says:

    Happy belated, Lou! What a fab bday! Hopefully a Cape Town card arrives soon(ish) & another hot on its heels from Lisbon! xo

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